Revision of the genus Melonycteris (Pteropodidae: Mammalia)
The genus Melonycteris consists of three species: M. melanops Dobson, 1877, M. woodfordi (Thomas, 1887), and M. fardoulisi n.sp. Melonycteris melanops is monotypic and widespread in the Bismarck Archipelago. It is orange in colour, and is unique in the genus in retaining a claw on digit two of the wing and in having P1 and M3 reduced. Melonycteris woodfordi is an orange-coloured species also, which is found in the northern and eastern Solomon Islands, and consists of two subspecies (the smaller M. w. woodfordi, found on the islands from Buka to Ysabel, and the larger M. w. aurantius on the Nggela Group). Melonycteris w. aurantius is unique in the genus in that females are usually larger than males, while in M. w. woodfordi the sexes are similar in size. Melonycteris fardoulisi n.sp. Is a predominantly brownish species in which the sexes differ in colour and where males are markedly larger than females. It is distributed in the western and southern islands of the main Solomons chain, and includes four subspecies (M. f. fardoulisi n.subsp. From Makira, M. f. maccoyi n.subsp. From Malaita, M. f. schouteni n.subsp. From Guadalcanal and M. f. mengermani n.subsp. From Western Province). The subspecies differ in size, colour and degree of sexual dimorphism.